740.0011 European War 1939/8174: Telegram

The Minister in Bulgaria (Earle) to the Secretary of State

53. The Greek Minister15a is worried about the attacks on Greece by the German press. Since it is the first time these have occurred in anything like their present intensity he fears it is a prelude to action.

The British Minister15b informs me that much work at high speed is being done in Bulgaria to widen and strengthen the road to and through the Struma gorge leading to Greece. The British Military Attaché says that he is packing preparatory to leaving this country, the chief of the British Intelligence Service here says facetiously he is 50% certain that the Germans will pass through Bulgaria and 50% more than certain.

The Foreign Minister15c alone maintains an attitude of tempered optimism.

I have seen personally some of the thoroughness of the German preparations for passage through Bulgaria. It is still possible that they are to be used only as a threat against Greece and Turkey. But it is also certain that should the threat fail German troops could [Page 644] reach the Bulgarian-Greek border through Bulgaria, according to the British Military Attaché, in 10 days or less.

Repeated to Ankara and Athens.

  1. Panayotis Pipinélis.
  2. George William Rendel.
  3. Ivan Vladimir Popoff, Bulgarian Minister for Foreign Affairs.